70% fewer fires reported in Joburg this winter

Robert Mulaudzi, EMS spokesperson, with Hunter's Hill Station Commander, Hope Makapela with Mufasa, the station's fire engine, which has been operating since 1995.

Winter has come and gone, but the trauma of losing a home, or a family member in a fire, remains, long after the tragedy.

Fires become more common during the cold season, especially in informal settlements. The City of Johannesburg’s firefighters often respond to incidents across the city. Last year alone, the emergency services responded to 790 fires.

Robert Mulaudzi, the City’s Emergency Management Services (EMS) spokesperson said this figure is taken from incidents recorded since 1 June to 31 August.

The number of people who lost their lives to fires also saw a massive reduction compared to last year when 23 people lost their lives. This year, eight people died because of a fire.

Mulaudzi said this year is a first in the last three years that both numbers have gone down.

“We are really satisfied with the conduct of all our residents in both formal and informal settlements during this winter,” he said.

He is especially satisfied that residents braced three cold fronts and used heaters, candles and paraffin stoves responsibility.

Mulaudzi believes the introduction of the Jozi Safety Kit programme, where dozens of kits were distributed across the City, assisted in the reduction of tragedies.

“Community educators worked tirelessly every day to make sure that our residents remained informed about fire safety. But this could not have been possible without the cooperation of residents.”

Public Safety MMC, Michael Sun, said the positive results are because of tireless work carried out by EMS.

“Firefighters, paramedics and civilian staff have been working under challenging circumstances such as the ageing fire engine fleet and limited ambulance resources,” he said.

In an attempt to reduce winter fires, even more, Mulaudzi encouraged residents to visit the Be Safe educational centres across the City for free training on life and fire safety educational programmes.

ALSO READ: Putting out fires 

Details: To book Be Safe training contact EMS on 011 758 5050.


Chantelle Fourie

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